Drive Safe During National Teen Driver Safety Week
By: Good2GoPublished: October 20, 2014
Teenagers get a bad rap when it comes to driving, and for good reason. Because most teens are inexperienced behind the wheel, they are more likely to make mistakes and test the limits (and rules) of the road. However, these rookie mistakes have serious consequences. In 2012, a total of 2,823 teenagers between the ages of 13-19 died in motor vehicle crashes. The most common reasons for these deaths include speeding, lack of awareness, and distracted driving. National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 19 – 25, 2014) is dedicated to helping decrease motor vehicle casualties among teens and raise awareness about safety measures. As a parent, here’s what you need to know to keep your teen safe on the road.
National Teen Driver Safety Week
In 2007, State Farm® and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia worked with Congress to designate the third full week of October as National Teen Driver Safety Week.
This weeklong observance is meant to encourage lawmakers, young drivers and their parents to work together to decrease risky driving behaviors and save lives. This year’s theme is “Support Older Novice Drivers: Build Awareness of the Trend in Delayed Licensure.”
Because some teen drivers don’t get their license until after age 18, they don’t receive the benefits of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) programs. These state programs target novice drivers between the ages of 15-17, but older novice drivers should also be exposed to these educational programs as well. While GDL laws vary by state, common themes throughout the programs address cell phone use, nighttime driving, and passenger restrictions. If your young driver hasn’t participated in a GDL program, it’s crucial that they do so as soon as possible as they will gain valuable driving experience and learn safe driving habits.
Teen driving statistics
Novice drivers have a lot to focus on while behind the wheel, but there are numerous distractions – inside and outside the vehicle – that can impair judgment and lead to serious accidents. In fact, car accidents are the leading cause of death among teens in the U.S. The fatal crash rate for drivers ages 16 to 19, which is four times higher than that of drivers ages 25 to 69.
Texting while driving is a major epidemic, especially among drivers 15 to 19 years old. In 2012, nearly 1 in 5 drivers in this age group were distracted by their phones while driving. In that same year, 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver.
Speeding is also a contributing factor in fatal car accidents among teens. In 2012, speeding was a factor in 48% of the crashes that killed 15- to 20-year-old drivers. 37% of both 15- to 20-year-old and 21-to 24-year old male drivers who were involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time.
In addition to speeding, texting and lack of experience, the number of passengers also contributes to the number of teens involved in traffic accidents. Teens are more likely to engage in risky driving behavior when traveling with passengers, increasing their risk for fatal crashes. These passengers who are also teens are most likely distracting the driver as well.
Dangerous distracted driving habits
As we know distracted driving takes many forms. Aside from cell phone use and peers in the backseat, other dangerous distracted driving habits that teens may engage in include:
- Applying makeup
- Adjusting music, temperature, GPS or other in-car controls
- Outside distractions (a.k.a. rubbernecking)
- Reaching for dropped objects
- Daydreaming or lost in thought
Teen driving safety tips
National Teen Driver Safety Week allows safety organizations to reach novice drivers and call attention to the need for safe driving choices. As a parent, here are a few things you can do to make sure your teen is making smart decisions behind the wheel:
- Advocate for extended GDL programs in your state for older novice drivers.
- Be a good example and practice safe driving habits yourself.
- Install text-blocking hardware/software in your teen’s vehicle to prevent texting while driving.
- Have an open discussion with your teen about their current driving habits and reinforce safety precautions, focusing on the fact that other lives may be at risk.
Auto insurance discounts for teen drivers and parents
If you’ve installed a text-blocking device in your teen driver’s car, you may be eligible to receive a 5% discount off your car insurance. Good2Go currently insures 51,270 teens who have their own auto insurance policy and 396,568 who are insured through their parents’ policy. That means nearly half a million Good2Go customers may benefit from using this type of in-car technology to remain safe when behind the wheel.
Good2Go’s CEO Joe DeLago stated that “National Teen Driver Safety Week is a great opportunity to continue the conversation around young driver safety. Campaigns like these as well as safe driving discounts are what the industry needs to raise awareness about teen driving risk factors and help save more lives. I commend the effort of the organizers of this week-long observance, but there is still plenty of work that needs to be done.” Find out more about Good2Go’s Cell Phone Safety Discount.
Good2Go wants you to drive safe – and affordably. Find out how you can protect yourself with Good2Go.com auto insurance. Get a cheap car insurance quote today.
Photo Credit: Rick Becker-Leckrone/Shutterstock